July 2009


Those clever folk at Philosphy Football (strange name for a cricket T-shirt provider, Ed.) have been inundated with cricket quotes, and have been kind enough to share the wisdom with The Village Cricketer. You can buy the T-shirts here, you can read the philosophy below…

What do they know of cricket who only cricket know” CLR James

Cricket is the greatest thing that god created on earth, certainly greater than sex, although sex isn’t too bad either” Harold Pinter

Say that cricket has nothing to do with politics and you say that cricket has nothing to do with life” John Arlott

If the French noblesse had been capable of playing cricket with their peasants, their chateaux would never have been burnt” GM Trevelyan

Sexy cricket

Sexy cricket

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Shane Watson. Words fail me. Yet he scores runs. Is this the same Shane Watson that was scared of the dark in 2005? Someone put everyone out of their misery and remove this annoying character from the field first thing tomorrow please.

I’d largely ignored the West Indies 3rd XI v Bangladesh series because there was Ashes and some good county cricket to watch on Sky. Now, however, I wished I had been able to watch it. Why? Well, not because of the standard of cricket, but because of the fact that none other than the great Floyd Lamonte Reifer (in tribute to whom the Keele Reefer Association flies its flag) has been able to have a second crack at international cricket, 10 years since he last had a go. It took a strike for him to do so, but the prediction he made back in November 2007 – that he’d be back – has come to pass.

Whilst ponies are strong despite their diminutive size, it’s just possible that Dizzy’s height and weight could be against him in this one. Tuffers is smaller and lighter than Gillespie which could really help his cause here, but what about that age difference between them both? Do you think he’s got enough stamina and ‘True Brit’ tenacity to beat the lanky Aussie and make it to the finish line first, or will it all end in a heart–stopping photo finish?

I’m supposed to be going to a barbeque in a couple of hours time, but ESPN Classic is dedicating a whole series of shows to Freddie Flintoff’s finest moments in international cricket. Channel 442 on Sky, I might stay in.

When The Village Cricketer is not watching the rain fall and ruin yet another game of cricket, Aussie baiting or providing insightful commentary (from the grassroots) into the performances of Strauss, Pietersen, Flintoff, Tendulkar, Lara, Warne, etc. I have a day job. Its actually a pretty busy day job within a major global organisation, which sees me working many hours preaching the benefits of managing risk, controlling costs and improving customer experiences.

Occasionally, however, the world of work meets the world of extra-curricular activities head on, and I have taken up an invitation to play in a corporate cricket match: Major global conglomerate v recently acquired software vendor. I’m playing for the major global conglomerate, and its a daunting proposition.

Why daunting? Well, I’m not too worried by the oppo, they may have some useful players, however even if they turn out to be 11 Premier league players (which they won’t) I’m fairly sure I wouldn’t embarrass myself. I’m more daunted by the players on my own team. Don’t know if they’ll be any good, one or two sound like they may be quite handy. However, one of them is my boss, another is his boss, another is the MD of a bit of the business I do some work for, oh and there is his boss too. Would it be a good career move to run any of them out or drop a catch off their bowling? Probably not.

The second interesting bit is how hard to play the match. You can’t play at 80% because its a nice, friendly match, yet do you want to appear uber competitive in a beer match? If I don’t be uber competitive will the big shots on my team (who got where they were in the corporate world by being uber competitive) view it as weakness.

Office politics meets a beer match, and it is difficult to know where to draw the line.

The Village Cricketer opens the debate up to his readers. How should I approach this game?

Flight from Melbourne to London, $2,000 Aussie
Tube to St John’s Wood, £2.20 with Oyster
Access to the Lords Media Centre, free
Contracting swine flu and endangering Richie Benaud, priceless

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